When individuals and businesses purchase property in California, they might automatically think they have the right to use it as they see fit. That includes building, expanding and making substantive changes. However, that is not as easy as it sounds. Zoning laws regulate how some properties can be used.
Property owners should be aware of how zoning laws work
The objective of zoning laws is to place limits on what owners can do. Most cities have a detailed plan for these matters. Some areas could be designated for industrial use like factories. Others are for commercial office buildings. Still others will be for residential use.
The zoning regulations ensure there is limited or no overlap in these areas. It also limits how structures can be built or reconfigured. If, for example, a residential home owner wants to add a level to their home or build an extension, they could be prevented from doing so by zoning regulations.
Factors that are considered include traffic, the economy, the environment, noise and the amount of residential space available. Real estate prices are frequently impacted by zoning restrictions. Attempts to use a property for certain reasons might clash with zoning laws, therefore it is imperative to be fully up to date and know when land use litigation might be needed to settle lingering disputes.
There may be options to address zoning issues
Depending on the circumstances, there is the potential to secure waivers or variances to supersede zoning regulations and let the property owner use it in ways that would otherwise not be allowed. Zoning is controlled by local jurisdictions, so it is wise to know the process and have advice to settle disagreements or to clarify complexities that could hinder a person or business entity’s plans for their property.